As early as 1935, Toyota had already ventured into the production of high quality trucks. The first Toyota truck was the G1, a 1.5-ton stake-bed commercial truck. It shared its basic components with the Toyota A1. However, the Second World War soon broke out, causing great economic slump that negatively affected the auto industry. Toyota slowed down its production but after the war, it went back with the new compact pickup truck, the Toyopet Model SB. Before long, it was on its normal pace again, fully geared towards success. The Model SB lasted until 1963 and in the following year, a new model was introduced, the Toyota Scout pickup. It got a 1.9L 85-hp 3R I4 engine. With this new creation, Toyota entered the American pickup truck market.
Few years later, the Toyota Hi-Lux was launched in place of the Stout. The new Hi-Lux pickup was equipped with smaller yet more potent 1.8L engine but later it got upgraded 2.0L and 2.2L versions of the same engine. The Hi-Lux had longer truck bed and was far more luxurious than the Scout pickup. It was a rear wheel drive offered in a regular cab body style. It used solid-axle front and rear suspension with leaf springs. In 1976, the Hi-Lux was replaced by the bigger and more luxurious Compact Truck or "Truck." A upscale package called the SR5 was offered for the Toyota Truck and it included more durable suspension with torsion bar. Also offered was a 4X4 model, which used solid axles and front and rear leaf springs. In 1984, an Xtracab trim was introduced. It got a two-row extension, which added more comfort and convenience for the truck users. Among the other upgrades to the Toyota truck were the fuel injected and the optional turbocharged engine, automatic locking front hubs and electronic transfer case.
Toyota Truck fairly contended in the pickup truck market but it did not make it to the top. Other makes were leading the tough truck segment of the industry. Toyota's tradition dictates excellence and hence, Toyota created another pickup that would make a big difference from between the best and the best among the best. In 1995, it launched the new Tacoma pickup, named after a city in Washington near Mount Rainier. This name aptly fit the new truck, which is fully equipped with high performance parts that prepare it for any off-road driving. For the 2005 year model, the Tacoma was again updated for a more rugged performance and modern styling. It has been recently awarded as the Best New Pickup for 2005 at the Canadian Car of the Year.